American Consequences - March 2021

unable to use any credit cards or banks because of the sanctions, and now sits on piles of cash at home to pay her bills. Chris Patten, the last British governor of colonial Hong Kong, said with the planned changes to the election system, “China’s communist parliament has taken the biggest step so far to obliterate Hong Kong’s freedoms and aspirations for greater democracy under the rule of law.” The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong recently surveyed its members and found that 40% of respondents were pessimistic about the future there, and one-third said Hong Kong had become less competitive as a global financial center. Some 61% of respondents said Hong Kong’s business environment had deteriorated over the last year, and many named the national security law as well as the COVID pandemic as the cause. Still, there’s no rush to the exits – Hong Kong remains a key financial hub, with

Beijing’s Communist rulers are also making certain that the postponed elections for the local Hong Kong legislature – if they happen at all – occur under strict new rules that guarantee only friendly pro-China forces prevail. In meetings in Beijing, Communist authorities have empowered a handpicked election panel to vet all candidates for the legislature and to appoint a majority of loyalists to the body. The goal, Chinese officials say openly, is to guarantee that only “patriots” are running Hong Kong. They seem to be operating under the theory that if you cannot win the election fairly, just change the rules of the game. Foreign condemnation of China’s crackdown on Hong Kong has been strong. The Trump administration imposed sanctions on several top Hong Kong officials deemed responsible for eroding the city’s freedoms, including Carrie Lam and Commissioner of Police Chris Tang. Lam has complained that she’s

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lamwalks behind a red barrier tape toward a press conference in Hong Kong. Over a year has passed since the beginning of anti-government protests in Hong Kong that brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. While the demonstrations have all-but died out, none of the underlying issues have been resolved, and a deep unease lies over the city as China moves to tighten its grip. (AP Photo)

American Consequences


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